Student Wages

Student Wage Guidelines – Effective October 1, 2023


Each semester, students are hired for a variety of tasks at the University. This requires a systematic approach to ensuring consistency in student wages across the University.  For the purposes of these wage guidelines, a student is defined as an individual who is enrolled in either a secondary school or in an accredited academic institution who is employed at the University of Guelph during their school year, school vacation period or first “off semester” after the completion of their studies.

The student rates below have been divided into 3 Job Categories (based on the nature of work being performed), each with its own wage range.  Determination of the appropriate wage rate within each salary range should be based on the job responsibilities, qualifications and previous work experience of the student.

Job Category


Wage Rate (Hourly)

Level 1

Customer Service/


General Help

Main focus of the job is task-oriented or to provide front-line client service, retail sales, or information either in person or on the phone.

Examples include set-up, physical labour indoors or outdoors, food preparation, box office/events assistance, shelving books, basic clerical, data entry, cashier, retail, customer service, and basic lab/research support such as routine data collection and maintaining supplies.

Limited previous related work experience or specialized skills are required, however may include standard requirements such as a driver’s license, first-aid and/or CPR training.

$16.55 - $19.00

Level 2


Advanced Administrative Support

Main focus of the job is administrative, technical, or research-based, requiring intermediate/advanced use of word processing, spreadsheet or other software, and administrative skills, or specific knowledge and skill in a certain discipline or in computer hardware, software, or use of specialized technical equipment.  

Examples include fundraising, field work, animal care, technical support and/or software programming.

Some previous related work experience, specialized skills and/or training are required.

$17.00 - $21.00

Level 3


Main focus of the is complex or specialized tasks, requiring specific knowledge that informs practice, specialized skills, advanced training (in some cases specific certifications/education) and/or significant related work experience. 

Examples include specialized facilitation skills, lab/research support requiring specialized knowledge of lab procedures and/or scientific principles.


Lead hand/ Supervisor 

Positions that are required to coordinate staff and provide leadership to others, including supervision and/or training.

$1.00 - $2.00 in addition to the regular hourly wage


  1. The hours of work are seven hours per day and 35 hours per week unless otherwise agreed to. The hours of work must not exceed eight hours in a day or 48 hours in a week, in accordance with the Employment Standards Act; some exceptions are permitted and details can be obtained from Staff Relations at extension 56700.
  2. Where an employee works for the University in excess of 44 hours in any week, they will be paid overtime pay for each hour in excess of 44 hours at an amount not less than one and one half times the regular rate of the employee.
  3. As a commitment to supporting our students, it is strongly encouraged that University of Guelph students be hired in preference to students of other universities and high schools.
  4. As of October 1, 2023, the general minimum wage rate is $16.55 per hour; for students under the age of 18 who work 28 hours a week or less when school is in session, or work during a school break or summer holidays, the rate is $15.60 per hour. 
  5. The student wage guideline is intended to capture the majority of student positions, however unique skill sets, market conditions and/or funding sources may warrant alternative pay rates being provided outside these ranges (but no less than minimum wage).  In such circumstances, departments are required to ensure the rationale for these differences are documented and available to Human Resources upon request.
  6. These rates are not intended to be used to compensate co-operative education students.  The Co-operative Education and Career Services Department conducts an annual survey of student salaries in each discipline.  The Co-op Salary Range Survey document, available through Co- operative Education and Career Services is offered to potential employers for informational purposes.  This salary survey information should be used when preparing offers to co- operative education students. If you have any questions about the information, please feel free to contact Co-operative Education and Career Services at extension 52323.